Continental Tele-connections of ET and Precipitation: Tractable Models, Viable Management, and Potential Monitoring.

Thursday, 18 December 2014: 9:00 AM
John Steven Selker1, Chad W Higgins2 and Leah Chung-Mei Tai1, (1)Oregon State University, Biological and Ecological Engineering, Corvallis, OR, United States, (2)Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, United States
The linkage between large-scale manipulation of land cover and resulting patterns of precipitation has been a long-standing problem. For example, what is the impact of the Columbia River project’s 2,700 km^2 irrigated area (applying approximately 300 m^3/s) on the down-wind continental rainfall in North America? Similarly, can we identify places on earth where planting large-scale runoff-reducing forests might increase down-wind precipitation, thus leading to magnified carbon capture? In this talk we present an analytical Lagrangian framework for the prediction of incremental increases in down-wind precipitation due to land surface evaporation and transpiration. We compare these predictions to recently published rainfall recycling values from the literature. Focus is on the Columbia basin (Pacific Northwest of hte USA), with extensions to East Africa. We further explore the monitoring requirements for verification of any such impact, and see if the planned TAHMO African Observatory (TAHMO.org) has the potential to document any such processes over the 25-year and 1,000 km scales.